Hershey’s Meaghan Raab, SwimMAC’s Kathleen Baker Clear 200 IM Meet Mark in Prelims at Juniors

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee, December 6. HERSHEY's Meaghan Raab and SwimMAC's Kathleen Baker both broke the meet record in the women's 200 IM to highlight day one prelims at the U.S. Winter Short Course Junior Nationals being held in Knoxville.

Women's 200 free relay
A pair of squads moved within striking distance of the meet record in the event with a pair of 1:32s going up on the board this morning. SwimMAC's Kathleen Baker, Nora McCullagh, Caitlin Casazza and Lauren Rhodes raced to the top seed in 1:32.60, while Palo Alto Stanford's Ally Howe, Sarah Kaunitz, Kindle Van Linge and Carly Reid placed second in 1:32.67. The meet record is a 1:32.06 from First Colony Swim Team in 2010 that includes the likes of Madeline Locus and Simone Manuel. Orange County Waves' Cheyenne Low, Emma Henderson, Margaret Burton and Lindsey Engel qualified third in 1:33.33.

Saint Andrew's (1:34.45), Pacific Swim (1:34.60), Carmel (1:34.63), Hershey (1:34.69) and Bolles (1:34.72) rounded out the top eight qualifiers into the finale.

Notably, Phoenix Swim Club's Keaton Blovad, 14, turned in a sizzling 22.92 leadoff for her 18th-place squad that touched in 1:35.82. That put Blovad about a half-second off Dara Torres' incredible 13-14 U.S. National Age Group record of 22.44 set back in 1982. Previously, Blovad's top time had been a 23.91 from the 2012 Phoenix Swim Club Time Trial about a month ago.

Men's 200 free relay
SwimMAC's Kyle Darmody, Matthew Josa, Michael Chadwick and John Manchester cruised to a 1:21.81 to lead the way in the morning. The foursome will be gunning for Bolles' meet record of 1:19.82 set a year ago. Bolles' Caeleb Dressel, Josh Booth, Emiro Goossen and Peter Georgiadis from the B team took second in 1:22.24, while Bolles' A team of Santo Condorelli, Joseph Schooling, Joao Steiner and Bradley Stamper qualified third in 1:23.22.

Crow Canyon (1:23.55), Phoenix (1:23.62), Michigan Lakeshore (1:23.96), Dayton Raiders (1:24.13) and Nashville (1:24.28) earned the other A final transfer spots.

North Texas' Brett Ringgold had a strong leadoff for his 10th-place squad with a 19.98 50 free, which is a half-a-second off Seth Stubblefield's 17-18 U.S. National Age Group record of 19.41 from earlier this year. That's the first time Ringgold has cracked 20 seconds, with a previous best of 20.26 from February of this year.

Women's 500 free
Lakeside's Leah Stevens dropped five seconds off her lifetime best with a leading time of 4:43.10 in the middle-distance event. Her previous best had been a 4:48.13 from the 2011 Short Course Junior Nationals. Area Tallahassee's Cecilia Williams qualified second in 4:45.64, while Dayton Raiders' Sydney Lofquist turned in a third-ranked 4:47.86.

Mason Manta Ray Zoe Thatcher (4:48.14), Loveland's Eryn Eddy (4:48.24), Crimson's Ashlee Korsberg (4:49.49), Raleigh's Hannah Moore (4:49.60) and Santa Clara's Sandra Soe (4:49.72) rounded out the championship field.

Men's 500 free
SwimFlorida's Logan Samuelson had a strong morning swim, turning in a 4:22.89 to lead the way. That performance smashed his previous best of 4:25.33 from the Florida High School State Championships last month. North Texas' Jonathan Roberts touched second in 4:23.97, while La Mirada Armada's Ryan Kao placed third in 4:24.27.

Crimson's Liam Egan (4:24.33), Dayton's Brock Turner (4:24.71), Stingrays' James Yoder (4:24.73), Crimson's Josh Beals (4:24.88) and College Area's Thomas Anderson (4:25.57) also made their way into the championship heat this evening.

Women's 200 IM
The first meet record of the day fell during the women's 200 IM with Hershey's Meaghan Raab (1:57.86) and SwimMAC's Kathleen Baker (1:58.02) both clearing the meet mark. Lindsey McKnight of Coral Springs had the previous record with a 1:58.03 from 2009. Raab cleared 1:58 for the first time, beating her previous lifetime best of 1:58.28 from last year's Juniors. Baker smashed her personal record of 2:01.28 also from Juniors a year ago.

Ella Eastin qualified third in 1:59.41, while Palo Alto's Ally Howe earned fourth in 1:59.67. Lubbock's Madisyn Cox (1:59.81), Firestone's Katelyn Miller (2:00.34), Ozaukee's Katherine Drabot (2:01.29) and Franco's Fins' Kara Kopcso (2:01.39) picked up the other spots in the finale.

Men's 200 IM
Palo Alto's Curtis Ogren turned in the top time of the morning with a 1:46.56, cutting nearly two seconds from his lifetime best of 1:48.31 from May 2011. Orinda's Steven Stumph placed second in 1:48.23, but has been faster with a seed time of 1:47.52. Mobile's William Glass (1:48.39) and Crescenta's Harrison Thai (1:48.72) picked up third and fourth-seed honors.

Panama City's Michael Duderstadt (1:49.08), Dads' Patrick Miller (1:49.35) and Mount Pleasant's Zachary Lierley (1:49.40) qualified fifth through seventh, while Saint Andrew's Quinn Cassidy (1:49.47) and Bolles' Caeleb Dressel (1:49.47) set up a swimoff for eighth.

According to a post by the legendary Sid Cassidy, Dressel wound up winning the swimoff.

Women's 50 free
Phoenix Swim Club's Keaton Blovad, 14, cut even more time off her relay leadoff lifetime best of 22.92 with a sterling 22.75 to lead the way in the splash-and-dash. Again, that's even closer to Dara Torres' 13-14 U.S. National Age Group record of 22.44 from 1982. As explained earlier, Blovad had topped out with a 23.91 from a month ago.

Osprey's Linnea Mack took second in 22.84, while Orange County Waves' Lindsey Engel placed third in 22.88. Baylor's Kristen Vredeveld (23.10), Mercy Healthplex's Temarie Tomley (23.11), Scottsdale's Victoria Toris (23.15), Highlands Ranch's Annie Ochitwa (23.15) and SwimMAC's Lauren Rhodes (23.15) also made their way into the finale.

Men's 50 free
Davie Nadadores' Dylan Carter raced to the top seed with a time of 20.06, while SwimMAC's Kyle Darmody touched second in 20.27. Hershey's Vincent Tafuto and North Texas' Brett Ringgold tied for third with matching 20.32s, although Ringgold already cleared 20 for the first time this morning with a 19.98 leadoff. FLA Aquatics' Jason McCormick (20.35), Northern Dutchess' Julian Mackrel (20.36), Rose Bowls' Corey John (20.55) and High Tide's Wesley Olmsted (20.56) rounded out the top eight in the splash-and-dash.

Notably, Michael Andrew, 13, swimming for the eponymous Team Andrew tied for 23rd with a 21.07 to setup a three-way swimoff to make the C final with Heartland's Caleb Davies and Riviera's Theodore Steinkemp.

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